Around 20 eager wine enthusiasts sit in classroom at the WSET Wine School near London Bridge on a cold Tuesday evening. On first introductions it seems there’s a mix of reasons why people have attended – lots had been gifted the experience for various celebrations and others were there to learn more about the basics of how wine is produced and how to taste it.
The teacher was an enthusiastic man who is studying for his Master of Wine qualification – the highest accolade in the wine industry. After taking us through the basics of grape constituents and the wine making process, we moved onto the systematic approach for tasting wine. Appearance – Nose – Palate, this is the universal approach to wine tasting and works every time!
Cue eight wonderful samples being placed in front of us and you could immediately feel the growing excitement in the room as we were about to put this theory to the test. I learnt that the WSET school insists on buying all of their wine (rather than being gifted it) so they are able to offer a balance and variety of wines, which isn’t always the case when you go to a wine tasting. Our samples were a fantastic mix, allowing us to really test the systematic approach and flex our palates.
My particular favourite was a German Riesling (Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Goldtropfchen Riesling Spatlese to be precise!) and we had lots of fun comparing this to an Australian Riesling (Skillogalee Hand Picked Riesling). The latter of which had more lime notes on the nose and apple on the palate, compared to the German Riesling that had floral notes on the nose and strong apricots to taste.
We spent a glorious hour tasting, making notes and debating with each other, and as with all wine tastings, the more we got into it the more everyone’s confidence grew and while we were busy chatting away the time quickly slipped by. The sign of an evening well spent, we came away with our tastebuds tingling and a new found knowledge of how wine is made and what we should look out for when tasting it.
WSET Wine School London offers all kinds of classes and events alongside the main wine qualifications; but if it’s just a basic knowledge of how wine is made and how you should taste it, I would highly recommend grabbing a friend (or flying solo) and heading down to their next From Vine to Glass class. All of their events can be found here: https://wsetglobal.com/wset-school-london/school-calendar/
Thanks WSET Wine School London.